Virgil van Dijk.

Why Brendan Rodgers didn't sign Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool in 2015

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Football News

Liverpool may have been forced to wait six months, but they finally have their man.

It was announced on Wednesday night that the Reds have agreed a £75 million fee with Southampton for the services of centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

A medical has also been completed after Liverpool sent a team down south to carry out all other formalities before Manchester City could make a move.

Irrespective of the price tag, it's an excellent piece of business from Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool have long needed a top-class centre-back and Van Dijk is exactly that.

Strong, tall and deceivingly fast, the 26-year-old has huge potential and seriously impressed during his two years at Southampton.

But there's something somewhat frustrating about Van Dijk's move up north: Liverpool could have signed the Dutchman in 2015 when Brendan Rodgers was at the club.

Prior to Van Dijk's £2.6 million transfer to Southampton from Celtic two years ago, Rodgers was offered the chance to sign him on the cheap.

But while the Northern Irishman was interested, he was advised against making a move by Liverpool's scouting team.


"Virgil van Dijk could have jumped from Celtic to Liverpool," Rodgers, now at Celtic, said in February. "Some clubs will want to see the players tested at certain arenas first.

"But if there is enough belief in the player then that counts. The key for scouting is trying to predict when the player is peaking.

"You could see with Van Dijk that he was quick, strong, good on the ball and decent in the air. So what more do you need to see?

"You could see him playing international football and, okay, clubs may want to see him in Champions League. There is maybe an issue with scouts.

Celtic v Real Sociedad - Pre Season Friendly

"When I was at Liverpool I asked about Van Dijk and he was at Groningen and then at Celtic. But I was told he wouldn't be for us at the time."

What could have been. Liverpool have struggled defensively over the past couple of years and had they signed Van Dijk, things might have panned out very differently.

Rodgers' two-year spell on Merseyside was brought to an end in October 2015, so you wouldn't mind betting he partially blames Liverpool's scouting team for his demise.

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Brendan Rodgers
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